Okanogan County, Washington

Near Malott

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Okanogan County Washington (Class B) BFRO

October 2014

Went hiking this last Sunday 10/19/2014 and parked off Service road 4235 off Hwy 20 on the Loup Loup Pass. Left my car about 0700 and crossed over a dirt berm that had been pushed up blocking another service road. Thought it would be as good a place to do some research on a book that my son is encouraging me to write. Had hiked about 1000 feet when I spotted what appeared to be deer tracks heading over the road and down into the ravine, took a few photos and went down into the ravine. About 200 feet down I lost the tracks and noticed my battery on my camera was almost dead, searched my pack, like a dummy I had left it back in my camera bag in the car. As I started back up in the direction of the car I heard 2 loud wacks of wood on wood about 6 or 7 seconds apart and about 300 feet above and to the right of me. Thought maybe hunters but had seen no signs of campers, no sounds of vehicles or rifle reports. Reached my car and got the camera battery and was ready to hike back out when I noticed that at the opposite end of the berm about 10 feet from where I had crossed earlier that some thing had crossed it and had slipped. I got a little excited thinking maybe a deer and a possible good track. What I found set me back a bit and had me starring for a bit. I have been all over the Cascades, Olympics and have been from Compo to Monument 78 on the Pacific Crest trail four times. Have heard a lot of strange and different sounds and have later been able to say bird, Wolf,Cougar, Bear, Elk, etc. This I don't know. If it was human, as an Investigator and Fugitive recovery agent it would not be someone I would take down. If it is an animal, it is one I have never seen or seen tracks of personally. After several moments the Investigator in me kicked in and I photographed the prints I found and cast the one that appeared the best defined. Not sure how the cast will turn out being on a slope and not having any ring to assist in the casting. While the cast set up I searched about for other tracks but the ground was very firm everywhere except around that berm. Collected the cast after 45 Min's and decided I would try to look for my tracks elsewhere. I know that it was hunting season, but had seen no one camping heard no sounds of vehicles or rifle reports from hunters that morning or for the rest of the day in that area.

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